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Tia Carrera - Tried and True

Tia Carrera
Tried and True
by Dani Bandolier at 16 July 2020, 9:02 AM

TIA CARRERA (1995) is an Austin, Texas psychedelic band in the US of A.  “Tried and True” is a sonic voyage culled from their latest studio work and put into permanent groove across a 37-minute LP, while the CD runs 71 minutes with the previously recorded songs from 2019 ‘Visitors’ and ‘Early Purple’ as CD bonus tracks. Psychic rawk music veterans Guitarist/engineer Jason Morales and drummer Erik Conn are pushing 20 years under the TIA CARRERA banner,  so their new album, “Tried and True” has more than earned its name. Ahead of 2019's two-song LP “Visitors/Early Purple” the founding duo recruited longtime friend and Austin legend Curt Christenson who played previously with DIXIE WITCH and CRIMSON DEVILS as a permanent member, and his well-established bass wizardry emboldened the band's sound and dynamic, unspoken communion as artists. “Tried and True” represents TIA CARRERA’s unwavering trajectory of heavy-psych-blues-bliss exploration.

First track ‘Layback’ sprawls into a lo-fi banger that is anything but laid back. Hot measures of carpet bombed Hendrix wah-wah and rotary speaker doplerings are spread like napalm in the morning and punctuated by frenetic snare fire.  The song pops out of the ridge line at the 4 and a half minute mark but is dynamically faithless with nary a change to be heard. ‘Taos’ casts a weaving snake charmer desert drone and finds a bit more patience letting the saturated wah do the heavy lifting until the final odd drop out ending.

‘Swingin’ Wing’ is farrrr out maaaan and another pounding blizzard of geetar squawk, bass bliss, slapping snare and a repetition of everything that proceeded this tune. ‘Zen and the art of the Thunderstorm’ un-disappears itself, toes down in a whammy pedal lyrical passage … there are no spoken words or singing on this instrumental release. ‘Tried and True’ catches the tasty wave of the true groove … finally … and gives the lads space to cut their own jib with drummer Erik Conn’s full tilt cadence pinned down by his caveman right foot ála John Bonham and Mitch Mitchell. ‘Visitors’ sounds like more of the same and could have been tracked at the same session.

I don’t know if I remember correctly, but I may have actually seen TIA CARRERA play with fellow Texicans ED HALL sometime ago. Mates, those ED HALL guys were awesome live. Jason Morales of TIA CARRERA has an enchanting and radiant guitar style, an homage to the thrilling and lyrical Jimi Hendrix six string squalling. These tracks grievously blow by any captivating bits as this is a release that never misses an opportunity to get into the weeds at full tilt. The dynamic compression and lopsided mix on these tracks gives me a pain in the gulliver. I should be all over this music – I dig 60’s psych rawk and over the top snazz of a countdown to rotary lysergic oblivion, but these songs come at you like the barrels at Puerto Escondido – blasting and calamitous; they could have used a few days to simmer down in the frijolera … have a listen and you tell me.

Meaner than a skillet full of rattlesnakes … born on the wrong side of the blanket and naturally horizontal…Dani Bandolier’s  Spotify list of reviewed bands…

stoner-guía luz negra on Spotify

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Layback
2. Taos
3. Swingin’ Wing
4. Zen and the art of the Thunderstorm
5. Tried and True
6. Visitors
7. Early Purple
Jason Morales - Guitar
Curt Christenson - Bass
Erik Conn - Drums
Record Label: Small Stone Records


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Edited 30 September 2022

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